Promising United midfield youngsters impress on international duty

by Tracey Germaine

Joe Rothwell and Ben Pearson were in action for England’s Under-19s in their friendly against Hungary. The fixture took place in Hungary which is the location of next summer’s UEFA European Under-19 Championship which England are hoping to reach.

Rothwell started on his debut for the Under-19s. The midfielder has had more than his fair share of injuries so it’s particularly pleasing to see him involved.

Less than ten minutes into the game, he provided the assist for England’s first goal. The Hungarian goalkeeper was put under pressure and rushed a clearance. The ball fell to Rothwell who controlled it exquisitely before he beat the oncoming defender and played the ball into Josh Murphy who slotted home.

Rothwell struck up a good partnership with Chelsea’s Lewis Baker in central midfield. The pair linked up and exchanged neat passes which led to a fantastic chance for Mason Bennett to double the lead but his effort went wide. He was taken off after 63 minutes with England leading 3-0.

Pearson had been called up as a replacement for Leeds United’s Alex Mowatt having been omitted from the initial squad, although it’s most likely because head coach Noel Blake wanted to check out the other players available to him ahead of  the Elite Round matches. He was brought on with 15 minutes to go just after Hungary had pulled a goal back. England won the game 4-1.

James Wilson had been called up to the squad but had to withdraw due to an injury.

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